29 March 2018 at 6.40pm | 14 Comments
The Royal Opera's Macbeth will be broadcast live in cinemas across the world on 4 April 2018.
Verdi’s opera inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy is conducted by Antonio Pappano, with a magnificent cast including Anna Netrebko, Željko Lučić and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.
To enhance your viewing experience, access our Macbeth digital programme for free using the promo code FREEMACBETH, and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production.
When witches prophesize that Macbeth will become King of Scotland, he struggles with his conscience. The formidably ambitious Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and pursues the kingship with murderous intent.
Despite never having seen Macbeth on stage, Verdi carefully preserved the drama Shakespeare’s original play and the opera was an instant success on its premiere in 1847. He subsequently made several revisions in 1865 after he had seen the play several times, creating a vivid adaptation that combines fantasy and politics.
The music is Verdi at his most theatrical: it bristles with demonic energy. ‘Verdi has captured the world of the Macbeth family in this music,’ says Antonio Pappano. ‘It’s lurid, it’s violent, it’s extravagant and it’s certainly dramatic.’
Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production for The Royal Opera is richly hued, shot through with black, red and gold. The witches – imagined by designer Anthony Ward as strange, scarlet-turbaned creatures – are ever-present agents of fate. Lloyd depicts the Macbeths’ childlessness as the dark sadness lurking behind their terrible deeds. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 Paris revision of the opera, which includes Lady Macbeth’s riveting aria ‘La luce langue’.
The cinema relay boasts a magnificent cast including Željko Lučić as Macbeth, Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Banquo. Macduff is performed by Yusif Eyvazov, and the Lady-in-waiting is performed by Francesca Chiejina.
We've rounded-up audience and press reviews from opening night and we'd love to hear from you before, during intervals and after the live cinema relay, so share your thoughts via Twitter and Instagram using #ROHmacbeth.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Aud Jebsen, Mr and Mrs Baha Bassatne, Spindrift Al Swaidi, Rena and Sandro Lavery and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.